One of two transfers joining Niele Ivey’s squad this season is Anna DeWolfe, a four-year starter at Fordham and three-time First-Team All-Atlantic-10 selection. Here’s what she brings to a crowded Irish backcourt.
Shooting and Scoring
Out goes former Virginia Tech transfer and three-point sniper Dara Mabrey, in comes DeWolfe, who knocked down the second-most three-pointers in Fordham history (238) on her way to scoring the third-most points in school history (1,883).
But beyond being a one-dimensional scorer, she also converted 739 total field goals, the third-most in school history. And for her career she’s posted per-game marks of 17.0 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 83.9% on free throws and 33.7% from three.
Statistically speaking, DeWolfe’s sophomore season was her most productive. She posted career-highs in points per game (20.8), assists per game (2.8) and three-point percentage (38.3%) in 2020-21. However, the team’s strength of schedule left a lot to be desired and they only played 18 games that season due to COVID-19.
Therefore, I think her best season may very well have been her junior campaign when she averaged 17.8 points, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 84.9% from the free throw line. DeWolfe’s long-range shooting percentage did drop to 30.4% that same season, but the strength of schedule saw a marked increase and she appeared in all 29 games while leading Fordham in scoring.
An Overqualified Sixth-(Wo)man
If there’s anything to be gleaned from Notre Dame’s single exhibition match against Purdue Northwest, DeWolfe will be starting the team’s season opener against South Carolina, along with five-star freshman point guard Hannah Hidalgo and junior Sonia Citron in the backcourt. But once Olivia Miles recovers from last season’s knee injury, who goes to the bench?
It’s almost certainly between Hidalgo and DeWolfe. And not to put too much stock in an exhibition game against a clearly overmatched team (the Irish beat the Pride 110-48), but Hidalgo went 8-9 from the field and 2-3 from deep for 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals; DeWolfe went 2-10 from the field and 0-3 from deep while scoring just four points.
Again, it’s a one-game sample size. And for what it’s worth, DeWolfe played the most minutes of any Irish player in that exhibition, so maybe there’s a concerted effort to have her experience and production on the court. But in an ideal world, Hidalgo is too good to keep off the court and DeWolfe becomes a go-to scorer who comes off the bench. That’s a luxury to have given DeWolfe’s place in the record books at Fordham.
Overall, DeWolfe’s numbers have stayed relatively consistent throughout her career. She was no worse than the second-leading scorer on Fordham throughout her four years there and shot no worse than 38% from the field or 81% from the free throw line in a single season. That’s a level of reliability that’s always welcome.
The “bad” news? When DeWolfe played premier teams like Notre Dame and Baylor during her junior year, she went a combined 8-32 (25%) from the field and 3-15 (20%) from three for 20 points over two games. The good news? DeWolfe doesn’t need to shoulder the scoring load at Notre Dame.
Most teams won’t be able to commit the same resources to stopping DeWolfe when the likes of Miles, Citron, Hidalgo, Maddy Westbeld and KK Bransford are on the court with her. DeWolfe may need some time to acclimate to her new role as a little fish in a big pond, but being a microwave off the bench in her lone season in an Irish uniform is an invaluable role. Fill it, and the Irish may very well compete for a national championship again this season.